Fantasy Baseball: Best Pitchers since All-Star break-NL

From time to time, I like to look at who the best pitchers and hitters are since the All-Star break, or the 2nd half of the season. Looking at the best NL pitchers from the 2nd half, based on the number of quality starts, yielded the names most people would expect like Sabathia, Santana and Webb, and a couple surprises like Pittsburgh's Paul Maholm and Colorado's Jorge de Larosa. But the two that caught my eye were 44 year old Randy Johnson, and 45 year old Jamie Moyer.

These two pitchers have had very solid stats since the All-Star break, and have kept their teams in the playoff race with their performances. Arizona's Randy Johnson, once the ace of any staff, is now their number 3 pitcher in the D-backs rotation, but has pitched like the ace he once was with 7 quality starts in 7 starts, with 4 wins, a 1.52 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. Moyer has 6 quality starts in his 7 games started, with 3 wins, a 2.47 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.

The quality start is defined as a pitcher throwing at least 6 innings while giving up 3 earned runs or less. Who would have expected two of the oldest pitchers in baseball to be still helping their teams, as well as many fantasy teams, at this point in the season? Certainly not me.

Here is the list of the top 20 NL pitchers since the ASB, based on number of quality starts:

Player INN GS QS W L K BBI ERA WHIP
Sabathia, CC SP MIL   64 8 8 6 0 60 9 1.41 1
Johnson, Randy SP ARI   47.3 7 7 4 2 44 6 1.52 0.99
Santana, Johan SP NYM   57.3 8 7 4 0 39 12 2.2 1.01
Webb, Brandon SP ARI    53 7 7 6 0 41 12 1.53 0.94
Cain, Matt SP SF    50.3 7 6 3 2 36 19 2.15 1.19
Dempster, Ryan RP CHC   46 7 6 5 1 49 15 1.76 1.13
Lilly, Ted SP CHC    45.7 7 6 3 1 40 15 3.15 1.25
Looper, Braden SP STL   50 8 6 3 3 29 10 3.24 1.1
Maholm, Paul SP PIT   55 8 6 2 2 47 14 2.95 1.24
Moyer, Jamie SP PHI    43.7 7 6 3 1 29 17 2.47 1.15
Nolasco, Ricky SP FLA   55 8 6 3 3 59 7 3.44 1
Perez, Oliver SP NYM   52 8 6 3 2 53 19 3.12 1.21
Arroyo, Bronson SP CIN    46.7 7 5 4 3 36 14 3.86 1.14
Billingsley, Chad SP LA    46.3 7 5 3 1 40 15 2.72 1.23
De La Rosa, Jorge SP COL   36.7 6 5 3 2 38 22 3.68 1.45
Hamels, Cole SP PHI   46 7 5 2 2 36 9 3.33 1.11
Jimenez, Ubaldo SP COL   51 8 5 5 2 41 21 3.35 1.33
Johnson, Josh SP FLA   43.7 7 5 3 0 34 17 3.3 1.44
Jurrjens, Jair SP ATL    45.3 7 5 2 5 31 13 3.97 1.35
Kershaw, Clayton SP LA   38 7 5 2 2 36 14 3.79 1.47

The other thing that comes to mind about their performances is: does this shoot down those who questioned how Roger Clemens was able to continue to pitch at such a high level into his 40's? Probably not, but Randy Johnson can still dominate a game at the age of 44. I wonder how many other players would be on the Mitchell list had he been given more time and money to research this issue. Baseball is already addressing the PEDs with more stringent drug testing, but the question still remains, in my mind, how many other players, and possible Hall-of-famers, were doing the same thing Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds got caught doing?

Or a better question: Does anyone care?

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